10:52 27.11.2018

Ukrainian naval personnel taken prisoners by Russians giving false testimony under pressure — Ukraine's Navy commander

2 min read
Ukrainian naval personnel taken prisoners by Russians giving false testimony under pressure — Ukraine's Navy commander

Ihor Voronchenko, commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine's Armed Forces, has said that the Ukrainian naval personnel taken prisoners by Russians in the Kerch Strait are being forced to give false testimony under pressure.

"The crews of our vessels are now being held in different places. Three of the naval personnel, an officer and two contract sailors, who were wounded, are being treated in hospital in Kerch. Our vessels are anchored in the naval base where FSB boats are stationed. And there are certain reports that our sailors have started giving out false information," he said during the Freedom of Speech program that was aired by ICTV channel on November 27 late night.

Voronchenko said there is a video published on the web that is featuring three sailors who have given testimony under physical and psychological pressure. "I know those sailors from Nikopol. They have always been honest professionals in their jobs. And what they say now is not true," Voronchenko said.

The Ukrainian Navy commander said those Ukrainian sailors have already spoken to their lawyers.

Also, Voronchenko said two of the military personnel are natives of Crimea and since their parents continue to live in the peninsula the former will come under pressure.

When asked to comment on the information disseminated by the Russian media that there were SBU officers on board of the Ukrainian naval vessels, Voronchenko said, "They [the Russian party] may say that we have come from the sky on a spaceship."

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